One of the many wonderful things about installing WordPress on your new shared hosting plan is the sheer amount of things you can do with it.
Indeed, after its humble beginnings as merely a blogging platform, the open source software has evolved into a dynamic, robust Content Management System capable of handling just about any kind of website you can think of.
And over the past few years, more and more people have been taking advantage of WordPress’ flexibility to build their own eCommerce website, often using the popular WooCommerce plugin as their shopping cart.
Whilst we certainly don’t have anything unkind to say about WooCommerce itself, you may have tried it in the past and found it’s not quite for you. Either that, or you simply want to explore your options before making any kind of long-term commitment.
If that’s the case, then please enjoy the following guide to our top four alternatives to WooCommerce for your hosted WordPress website.
Listed among the best of the bunch by top web professionals such as those at Top 10 Website Hosting, the basic Shopp plugin comes as a free plug-in.
Once installed, you’ll have a wealth of possibilities for setting up your new store, with as many options for adding discounts as you could possibly hope for, even incorporating ‘buy one get one free’ offers and different offers for different customer types.
Shopp may not offer the greatest selection when it comes to integrating payment gateways, with only a few of the major ones able to be integrated. That said, the ones you could add to you store where among the top providers anyway, and are more than likely the ones that most folks would chose to install regardless.
The only real drawback comes from the support, for which you’ll need a support license which needs to be renewed each year.
At $149 for an ongoing license, Cart66 does rank as the most extensive platform on our list today, but we do reckon you get great value for your money, especially when a single license covers you to use the plugin on as many sites as you please.
For that price, you get a greater selection of shipping and payment gateways than any of the other brands we’ll discuss today, along with membership and subscription gateways which you normally have to pay extra for if you use another system.
Professional support is included, as are countless additional features such as social media integration and coupons.
One of the most popular alternatives to WooCommerce around, WP Commerce functions much like Shopp does, in that it comes as a free plugin with paid-for support.
In our experience, the open-source platform was compatible with just about any WordPress theme and plugin we tried, and was among the easiest of the lot to get to grips with, even for those who had never used an eCommerce plugin in the past.
Whilst that might make it a great option for beginners, the limited options and payment gateways might be enough to put off more advanced users.
Finally, we come to Marketpress, a bargain at only $19 for an ongoing license which, much like Cart66, you can integrate into as many websites as you choose.
One of the things we like the most about this one is the option to create multiple stores from one dashboard and link to them together through one single checkout process. You can even allow other people to sell on your network and take a small cut of their sales, such as with Amazon’s Seller program or something similar.
Again, this one works with all themes and plugins we tried, and cooperates with a good amount of leading payment providers.